The Line That Separates

Welcome to the first of what I hope to be many pieces inspired by the writing prompts submitted by my Twitch viewers! I am very excited to see where this journey takes us and I am looking forward to all the things that I can create with the help you all give me.

This first piece was written from the prompt submitted by Twitch user thisisthejoseph. He’s a dear friend in real life and a big supporter of both my writing and streaming.

The prompt: “A weapon recounts the things it’s experienced over its lifetime. Inanimate object or AI point of view, dealer’s choice.” – thisisthejoseph

The Line That Separates

It all began with a single stroke. A life was ended. Just one, but it was only the beginning. After that first kill, I was put away. Locked in a case for what seemed like decades. Perhaps it was, but I was never to be sure of just how long. In time, I saw light again. My case was opened. A new set of eyes marveled at what they beheld.

My existence became that of pageantry and ritual. I was passed from hand to hand. New eyes marveled and none seemed to know my purpose. They viewed me as some sort of relic of times long since passed. Each time my case closed again, I was alone for small eternities. Put away somewhere. Forgotten. Unneeded. A new burst of light meant a new ceremony and a new owner. A new set of hands to take me and put me somewhere to be forgotten again.

There grew a rhythm to my reality. A predictable pattern of darkness and light. These intervals began to feel insignificant. A mere routine, but there was a small growth of tension with each opening. This was the simple cycle of my existence. An undulating stream of time. I grew to feel a comfort in my useless ceremonies. I was not a tool for taking a life, but a symbol of changes rooted in history.

But one day my case was opened in darkness.

No light shone in and yet I was drawn forth. Wielded. I was handled with panicked, frenzied flourishes in dim days lit by a distant star. Held by hands that were sure of my purpose. Each single stroke ended the lives of thousands upon thousands. I was never returned to my case, but instead carried at all times. My power was brought to bear repeatedly.

This time was unlike the time of my creation. The world I now existed in was unlike the world I first came into. My handlers were familiar, but they had grown wild. Maddened by something I would never understand. With my power, lives were felled like a forest felled by an axe forged of hellfire.

I saw them all grow madder and madder. Together we ended more and more.

My own end was abrupt. The light that came was greater than any I had ever beheld. It was brief and gave way to suffocating darkness that could perhaps have been eternal. I was resigned to exist in nothingness. Silence. Cold. Better off that I languish alone than serve as a tool to slake terrifying bloodlust.

I was never near the lives I took. Never saw faces. Never felt the warmth of life turning cold. I was emptied of my own blood to draw the blood of others. I made marks. Lines of division. Lines of ending. The marks I made could have been used for creation, but it was not the fate handed to me.

Someone found me. Took me and gently washed me. Restored my form with meticulous care. I was handled with a reverence I had never known. Even in my brightest moments.

I sit now under glass. Bathed in light. Beheld anew each day with a steady stream of unfamiliar eyes. Eyes that choose to remember what I had been used for…not out of anger, but of hope that it won’t happen again.

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